A national holiday that inspires kindness
- Posted on Aug 18, 2010
Thursday, August 22nd, marks the 20th annual Be an Angel Day, celebrated throughout North America and several other countries. The day encourages us to give thanks for angels by imitating them.
What does it mean to be angelic? Practice acts of kindness and help others in need (anonymously if that's possible, just like angels often do).
Be an Angel Day was started by Jayne Howard of Upperco, Maryland, in 1993 when angels were beginning to attract some attention among the general population.
The idea caught on, and people organized festivals, parades and art fairs devoted to angels. Often angel food was served as part of the celebration.
"If we can get Guideposts inspirational stories into the hands of people who may not have a devotional life, they can share the true-life stories of how God works in the world. The joy of Guideposts is their free, donated magazines - they allow me to help all the people who I am called on to serve."
-Rob Carter, Nyack Hospital's Director of Pastoral Care
Many people reported seeing rainbows that day, even when it was not raining.
Jayne and other angel experts received recognition in the press, and the holiday’s popularity grew, with Be an Angel Day celebrated in twenty countries.
As the years continued, Be an Angel Day evolved into a day of helping others. Today it’s primarily a non-denominational, non-profit event, and the manner of serving is left up to each participant.
The angelic help you can offer is not defined or limited. It can be physical, emotional, or spiritual. Think about paying a stranger's toll, sending an anonymous card to someone who needs cheering up, or, if you can afford it, buy some groceries for a family out of work and leave them on the porch. Donate blood. Take a child on a nature walk or help her plant a tree. Visit someone in a hospital or nursing home.
“The primary goal,” says Jayne, “is to reach someone who is shut off from love.”
The angels, our faithful companions, are sure to be delighted as we share our knowledge of them with one another. Make their day a special one, and it will be doubly special for you.